Family volunteering with bears in Romania

Description of Family volunteering with bears in Romania

Combine volunteering at a bear sanctuary with a family holiday on this unique project in Romania. Volunteer with your family in a bear sanctuary which provides a home to over 80 abused bears.

For many years bears in Romania have been forced to dance in the streets, trophy-hunted and trapped in cages outside restaurants. Existing in cruelly cramped conditions and regularly abused by their owners, these bears are now being rescued and brought to this inspiring sanctuary on the outskirts of Brasov.

Volunteers have been helping at the bear sanctuary ever since its creation in 2006. The sanctuary is now home to 84 bears, with over 20 more bears due to be rescued over the coming months. This is a safe haven for them, with densely forested enclosures with pools and plenty of food.

Helping alongside the full time members of the sanctuary staff, you will become part of this ongoing rescue story to bring more bears to safety. Your days will be spent around the sanctuary, ensuring the best rehabilitation and care possible for these bears. You will be helping at the bear sanctuary from Monday to Friday, helping to prepare food, assisting with feeding and monitoring, contributing to sanctuary tours and getting stuck in to conservation. There is great variety here, and your family will come away with a great knowledge of the issues facing conservation and animal welfare.

This is a fantastic opportunity for a slightly older family to get stuck in to something meaningful together. In your free time you can enjoy visiting Dracula's Castle, Rasnov Hill Fortress, the beautiful medieval city of Brasov, the Carpathian Mountains and much more. There is no chance to get bored here!

Accommodation and food
Brasov is a vibrant place with winding cobbled streets and brightly coloured buildings. You will be living in the old centre of the city, either in a flat or a hotel. All restaurants, bars, cafes, museums and amenities are within a short walking distance.

There is access to our rented flat with wifi, fully equipped kitchen and washing machine.

Day-by-day itinerary

Day 1Arrival day is a Friday. You will be collected from Bucharest airport and transferred up to Brasov.
Day 2-3:Enjoy exploring Brasov and the surrounding areas over the course of the weekend.
Day 4 -8:Get stuck in up at the bear sanctuary for the week. If you are staying for one week only you will return to the airport on the Friday.
Day 8+:If you are staying for more than one week, you will enjoy the same as week 1 and leave on the second Friday.

Hello. If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.

01273 823 700

Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Family volunteering with bears in Romania


Our placements are designed to immerse you in a different culture, living and working with local people. There’s plenty to gain personally from this challenge – a sense of achievement, broader horizons and some wonderful memories. But we make sure that local people, the environment and wildlife benefit too.

Supporting local wildlife- it almost goes without explanation to state how strongly this project supports local wildlife. The staff at the sanctuary can very rarely say no to animals that need to be taken care of, and as such you will find some very happy dogs can also call the sanctuary home. The educational emphasis on the sanctuary is important, as it helps children from this area of the world to understand the importance of caring for wildlife and in particular the bears.

Environment - Our company takes an environmentally responsible attitude towards recycling and reusing of waste products. We also offset carbon emissions in our office (gas, electricity, business mileage) and encourage all participants to offset their flight emissions via a carbon offset scheme run in conjunction with Tree Aid. We also offer the option of travelling there by train to cut down on carbon emissions. Our volunteers are given a pre-departure briefing where they are encouraged to minimise waste and to live in a way that will not have a detrimental effect on the country. This extends to not wasting water or electricity.

About the bear sanctuary - the project is located at a sanctuary, where these bears can live out their days in a location as close to the the wild as possible. Volunteers are not allowed to interact with the bears as this can hinder their rehabilitation. Currently there are 80 bears calling this place home and who have been successfully rehabilitated into the sanctuary.


Meeting local needs - The whole project is geared towards helping the local community. Romania is not wealthy and institutions like the bear sanctuary rely on volunteers. We have been running programmes in this area since 1999 and have long-standing relationships with local people. This means we have a good idea of where help is needed, and can ensure volunteers make a real contribution.

The project also helps the local economy. Our participants spend money on food and leisure; we pay rent and employ a local Romanian as our representative. In addition, we donate money regularly to the various projects in response to their needs.

Cultural sensitivity - Our pre-departure briefing includes a special session entitled ‘Responsible Tourism’ where we discuss cultural differences and sensitivities as well as advising volunteers on appropriate conduct. People a briefed on what is considered polite in terms of eating, greeting and dressing. It is encouraged that all volunteers learn some Romanian prior to departure, and they get a helping hand whilst out there as well.

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